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Development charges being reviewed in City to support housing, growth

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Owners of downtown buildings might elect to do more work on upper stories without development fees. Photo: Erin Smith.

At today’s Committee of the Whole meeting the first step was taken that could eventually see development fees relaxed for property owners who may wish to upgrade their buildings and turn them into livable spaces.

Mayor Andy Letham presented a memo to Council requesting that the Task Force currently reviewing development charges consider the following issues when writing a new by-law for January 2020:

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City receives $5.6 million in one-time funding from Province, Feds

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City receives $5.6 million in one-time funding from Province, Feds

Recently the Federal and Provincial governments have made funding announcements that have positively impacted Kawartha Lakes — and now a staff report going to Committee of the Whole on April 9 outlines in detail the funding changes.

Kawartha Lakes will receive over $5.6 million in one-time additional funding for 2019, including the following:

Federal Gas Tax Funding
One-time top-up of approximately $4.66 million, to be used for infrastructure projects including: local roads and bridges; regional and local airports; broadband connectivity; public transit; drinking water; waste; recreation; culture and tourism.

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Bell launches new broadband wireless Internet service in rural Kawartha Lakes

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Nearly half of Kawartha Lakes City Council showed up to hear what Bell representatives had to say about new rural, wireless broadband.

It’s the first thing on the minds of people who are considering the possibility of moving to Kawartha Lakes – or any largely rural municipality. ‘How’s the Internet?’

Bell today announced the expansion of its Wireless Home Internet wireless broadband service to more communities in the Kawartha Lakes region and Peterborough County, including Kirkfield, Lindsay and Little Britain.

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Food insecurity, affordable housing, and ‘freedom from want’

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City says it's 'turning a corner' on affordable housing supply

Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want is one of the best-known of all American paintings. You might not know it by its title, but you would recognize it. An extended family is gathered around a table at Thanksgiving.

Food on the table. A roof over your head. Basic human needs.

At the most recent Committee of the Whole, councillors and city staff heard presentations on how we’re addressing those basic needs.

Hard to imagine individuals better qualified to provide a briefing: Aisha Malik, Chair of the Food Security Working Group and Public Health Dietitian with the Health Unit joined Heather Kirby, Chair of the KL Food Coalition and General Manager of the KL Food source to address food insecurity. The presenter on affordable housing was Hope Lee, the City’s Manager of Housing.

Both presentations painted a clear picture of the current situation, of what’s being done and of what should be done in the future. Both deserve a wider audience.

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Transportation and child care: Key barriers to work in Kawartha Lakes

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Transportation and child care: Key barriers to work in Kawartha Lakes
A lack of affordable or flexible childcare is another employment barrier here.

Until his work accident, ‘Tom’ had always had regular employment. Deemed medically unfit to work by a team of doctors, and denied WSIB benefits, Tom had to sell his possessions and eventually the family vehicle to feed his family.

He had to move from Lindsay to a rural part of the city in search of less expensive rent. Finally cleared to return to work, Tom faced what employment professionals call a ‘barrier’ to work.

“The (time off from the) accident had used up every available dollar I could borrow from friends and family. I had already sold anything of value. I needed a car to get a job. And I needed a job to get a car. I was in this feedback loop of failure,” he says.

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CKL shafted: Billions in new rural transit money — but based on current ridership levels

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Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Analysis  A new announcement from the Province on funding for rural transportation systems across Ontario will see $1.6 billion unlocked for 85 eligible municipalities outside of Toronto and Hamilton – including Kawartha Lakes.

However, the Advocate has learned that because the money from both the Province and federal government is based on a municipality’s current ridership share, Kawartha Lakes can access only $1.7 million in funding. Compare this to the City of Peterborough which will get $26 million from the provincial share alone – despite the fact that the population of the City of Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes is almost the same (with Peterborough’s 81,000 vs Kawartha Lake’s 75,000.)

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Community roundtables to be hosted across Kawartha Lakes

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Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie and roundtable discussions.
Deputy Mayor Doug Elmslie.

Kawartha Lakes Council is introducing a new way of engaging with the community. Starting late summer and continuing into September, the public will be invited to participate in community roundtables in each of the eight wards. A community roundtable is an opportunity for Kawartha Lakes residents to engage with their elected officials, municipal staff and each other about current topics of general interest.

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Healthy Environment Plan 18 months in the making

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Holding the Healthy Environment Plan: Tracy Richardson, Councillor, Denise Williams, Project Lead.

The Healthy Environment Plan has been 18 months in the making, involving a 60-member working group and consultations with more than 2,600 community members.

Council Champion Tracy Richardson kicked off the presentation by sharing that “the Healthy Environment Plan is a transformational plan that maps out high-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gasses over the next 10 years. It addresses changes in our growing seasons, droughts, flooding, impact of freeze-thaw cycles and warmer lake temperatures. This is a community plan; it was created with the community and will be carried out by all of us as we seek to cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

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Kawartha Lakes adopts its first Healthy Environment Plan

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At the March 19 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Healthy Environment Plan was recommended to be adopted by Council. The Plan has been 18 months in the making, involving a 60-member working group and consultations with more than 2600 community members.

Council Champion Tracy Richardson kicked off the presentation by sharing that “the Healthy Environment Plan is a transformational plan that maps out high-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gasses over the next 10 years. It addresses changes in our growing seasons, droughts, flooding, impact of freeze-thaw cycles and warmer lake temperatures. This is a community plan; it was created with the community and will be carried out by all of us as we seek to cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

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‘Car culture’ prevails for new downtown after earlier public push-back

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Cycling and pedestrian advocates who attended last night’s public meeting at the Lindsay Armoury were not pleased to see that the main features of Lindsay’s downtown will remain largely unchanged in its revitalization initiative.

Well over 100 people showed up to hear what City staff and urban planning firm CIMA+ representatives had to say about plans already in place, and to give feedback on some initiatives still up for grabs. But for the most part the downtown vision has been set – Lindsay will retain its angled parking and there will be no bike lanes.

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